Tuesday , Dec , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets return to Charlotte

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – The New Orleans Hornets will make their first
return to Charlotte since moving 2 1/2 years ago, when they battle the
expansion Bobcats tonight.

The Hornets spent almost 10 years in Charlotte before they picked up and left
for the Big Easy. Although the Hornets were very popular for many years in
Charlotte, owner George Shinn and Atlanta businessman Ray Wooldridge all but
turned the fans against them before the move.

Later that year, Charlotte was given a franchise with Bob Johnson as the
owner.

It will likely be sweet irony for the Charlotte fans tonight, as the Hornets
come to town with the worst record in the league (1-18) and the Bobcats are
4-14 in their inaugural campaign.

Seven Hornets remain on the roster from their time in Charlotte, including
Baron Davis, George Lynch, David Wesley, Jamaal Magloire, P.J. Brown, Jamal
Mashburn and Lee Nailon. Of course, Mashburn, Magloire and Davis are injured.

The Hornets have lost 10 consecutive contests, including an ugly 88-69 defeat
to the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Dan Dickau and Junior Harrington both
netted 14 points for the struggling Hornets, who have dropped 18 of their
first 19 games of the young season.

The Hornets are getting close to matching their franchise-record (12) losing
streak set Jan. 19-Feb. 14, 1990.

Dickau has scored in double-digits in four straight games. He is averaging
15.8 points, two rebounds and two assists in that span.

Brown chipped in 13 points and 10 boards in a losing effort.

The Hornets’ lone win this season came at the expense of the Utah Jazz back on
November 22.

Prior to Sunday’s game, New Orleans placed forward David West on the injured
list. The Hornets also signed free-agent Lonny Baxter to take West’s roster
spot.

New Orleans, which was moved to the Western Conference because of Charlotte’s
return, has not been good on the road this season, tallying a 1-9 mark.

Charlotte has not been at its best as of late, dropping four consecutive
contests. On Sunday, the Bobcats dropped a 99-87 decision to the Golden State
Warriors at The Arena in Oakland.

Emeka Okafor became the first rookie since Tim Duncan during the 1997-98
season to register 10 straight double-doubles, as the Bobcats finished a four-
game road trip winless. Okafor had 21 points and 13 boards for Charlotte,
which is 0-10 on the road this season.

Jason Kapono had 17 points for the Bobcats, who are the only winless team on
the road this season in the NBA.

To make matters worse, Keith Bogans left the game due to injury in the fourth
quarter. Bogans is questionable for tonight’s game with an ankle injury.

The Bobcats have been their best at Charlotte Arena this season, splitting
eight games.

NOH CHL